Unlike other artists who have succeeded, Tom Petty left behind a royal plan, albeit with his own unique set of problems.
As a recent article from Variety.com explains, Tom Petty left a fund funded through his music catalog. His widow was named regent, but Mr. Petty also gave his two daughters an interest in decisions about what was done with his catalog.
As you can imagine, Mr. Petty’s wishes, when put into practice, create conflict rather than harmony.
His daughters and widow are disorganized, and the court must now step in to determine if the daughters simply get a voice with which they can express their wishes. or If the terms of the fund actually allow them to vote on his catalog issue. If the court decides that the daughters will have the right to vote, assuming they are biased, they can now object to the guardian’s actions as they relate to the catalog. Although they are not formally named as Associate Trustees, the Court may find that Betty’s intention was to give them decision-making power, effectively appointing them as Associate Trustees when it comes to his catalog.
This is an example of the importance of making sure that your wishes are clearly stated in each of your estate planning documents.
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